Sexual Health Health Center

Reproductive health: When it comes to problems related to reproduction, your doctor may refer you to a specialist, one who exclusively works on issues of fertility who is able to address your questions and concerns about your ability to become pregnant. When a couple hasn't been successful getting pregnant, the woman may be prescribed certain medications to boost the chances of pregnancy. They also might turn to artificial insemination (injection of prepared sperm into the woman) when sexual intercourse has not led to pregnancy.

Contraception: Every form of contraception may not work for every man or woman. Talk to you doctor to figure out which option might work best for you. Certain types of contraception may trigger side effects in some. For example, hormonal birth control may lead to weight gain or mood swings, and condoms may trigger a latex allergy in some. If you are experiencing side effects from your contraceptive method, ask your doctor about all your contraception options. You may need a change in condom brand or sizing, or a change in birth control types (such as pill to patch or injection to vaginal ring). If a man or woman decides to never have children, there is the option of sterilization, which permanently prevents a woman from getting pregnant or a man from fathering a child. Sterilization involves surgical procedures that usually cannot be reversed.

STDs: Many STDs are caused by bacteria and can be treated successfully with antibiotics prescribed by a doctor. Although, in some cases, infections have developed antibiotic resistance. Some STDs are caused by viruses, which cannot be cured, but instead must be managed. Examples of viral STDs include HIV/AIDS, genital herpes and hepatitis B. Ask your doctor on how to manage a viral STD.

Male reproductive health: Doctors often suggest that treatment of male reproduction issues, such as erectile dysfunction, begin with the least invasive form of treatment, and that efforts should increase if there is no success. To address erectile dysfunction, some men may first try to quit smoking, reduce alcohol intake and lose weight before seeking advanced medical treatment. Oral and injected medications can be used to treat erectile dysfunction. Examples of oral medications for erectile dysfunction include Viagra (sildenafil), Levitra (vardenafil) and Cialis (tadalafil). Vacuum devices may also be used to draw blood into the penis.

Female reproductive health: Menstruation is a normal part of life for women. As such, there is no "cure" for menstruation. Women experience their monthly period until they reach menopause. However, many hormonal birth control methods can cause a woman's period to occur much less often or even stop completely. Over-the-counter products such as tampons and sanitary pads may be used to control bleeding and for cleanliness purposes. Mild pain medication may be used to treat and control menstrual symptoms such as abdominal pain. Pregnancy requires proper prenatal care, which includes frequent visits to the doctor or gynecologist as well as dietary changes and increased vitamin intake. It is often recommended that pregnant women get 400 to 800 micrograms of folic acid every day to prevent many types of birth defects.

Review Date: 
September 4, 2012
Last Updated:
November 13, 2013